This astounding piece of foppery appears early in the first scene of Tytania. What we have here is a classic high-tech space battleship bridge, commanded from the lovechild of a proscenium arch stage – complete with curtain – and an incredibly opulent drawing room.
(It’s not strictly relevant, but I must also mention this moment of incredible manly tea-pouring. Is ‘Liptia’ Liptons?)
I think it’s fairly clear that Tytania- the show – loves a theatrical spectacle. Perhaps Tytania – the polity – loves a spectacle too? Up to a point, it seems: Ajman remarks that while they don’t really need the acclamation of the fickle masses, but they do need to remain feared.
That’s our introduction to the throne room scene. There’s a lot to talk about here – the way that Tytania keep everyone waiting, the places people stand, &c – but essentially that’s what it’s about: fear. Obviously Tytania has lots of real power (giant, phallic spaceship power), but the Emperor is still ostensibly in charge. Ajman probably finds it useful to display their power every now and again, and there aren’t many clearer ways of doing so than walking into the throne room and coolly shooting the Emperor’s Chancellor dead. It’s not clear from this first episode whether the late Chancellor was in any way a threat to Tytania, but I imagine they had the means to bump him off on the sly if they so wished, so the fact that it was done so openly is significant.
A desire to create fear would also explain the Starship Operators-esque broadcast of their battle across the galaxy, but one thing that it doesn’t explain is the fabulous bridge with which we began this post. There isn’t an audience to be impressed apart from the bridge staff, who are presumably used to this kind of thing. From the flippancy of the commanders – I’m fairly sure I heard their military expedition referred to as ‘hiking’? – I got the impression that they might want to travel and fight in as much luxury as possible, like the Persian emperor taking a supply of specially bottled water from his local river with him on campaign. (Madness? This is Volvic!)
Then again, Aryabhata (really?) doesn’t seem to be a dilettante. True, he was defeated, but according to Crusader he didn’t actually make any glaring errors so until we get further evidence I’m going to consider him competent. If it’s not just a luxury thing then perhaps there’s a desire among these people to remind themselves of their own power using behaviour and furnishings as carefully composed as Fan Hulic’s bubblegum is casual. Certainly the composure and the power are lost at the same moment, when the manly tea is sent crashing to the floor.
It will be interesting to see whether or not this stage arrangement is standard. For all we know each of the other dukes could have his own personalised bridge.
- Kitsune gives us a lengthy photoessay and includes some of the first fanart at the end. We have Rule 63 material already, it seems.
- Kaioshin is triumphant: ‘This is the kind of show that I thought they just plain didn’t make anymore.’
- Washi makes his alliegance clear: ‘Down with Tytania! [The polity.]‘
- Demain declares Tytania awesome.